ON THE PHYSICS OF GALVANIC SOURCE ELECTROMAGNETIC GEOPHYSICAL METHODS FOR TERRESTRIAL AND MARINE EXPLORATION

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A numerical study was conducted to investigate the governing physics of galvanic source electromagnetic (EM) methods for terrestrial and marine exploration scenarios. The terrestrial exploration scenario involves the grounded electric dipole source EM (GESTEM) method and the examination of how the GESTEM method can resolve a thin resistive layer representing underground gas and/or hydrocarbon storage. Numerical modeling studies demonstrate that the loop transient EM (TEM) and magnetotelluric (MT) methods are insensitive to a thin horizontal resistor at depth because they utilize horizontal currents. In contrast to these standard EM methods, the GESTEM method generates both vertical and horizontal transient currents. ... continued below

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Um, David Alumbaugh and Evan June 27, 2007.

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A numerical study was conducted to investigate the governing physics of galvanic source electromagnetic (EM) methods for terrestrial and marine exploration scenarios. The terrestrial exploration scenario involves the grounded electric dipole source EM (GESTEM) method and the examination of how the GESTEM method can resolve a thin resistive layer representing underground gas and/or hydrocarbon storage. Numerical modeling studies demonstrate that the loop transient EM (TEM) and magnetotelluric (MT) methods are insensitive to a thin horizontal resistor at depth because they utilize horizontal currents. In contrast to these standard EM methods, the GESTEM method generates both vertical and horizontal transient currents. The vertical transient current interacts with a thin horizontal resistor and causes charge buildup on its surface. These charges produce a measurable perturbation in the surface electric field at early time. The degree of perturbation depends on source waveform. When the GESTEM method is energized with step-off waveform, the perturbation due to a thin horizontal resistor is small. This is because the step-off waveform mainly consists of low frequency signals. An alternative is taking the time-derivative of the step-off responses to approximate the impulse response which includes higher frequency signals. In order to improve degree of perturbation especially due to a localized small 3-D resistor, the diffusion angle of the vertical transient current, 45 should be considered to make vertical currents coupled to a resistive target efficiently. The major drawback of the GESTEM method lies in the fact that GESTEM sounding can not be interpreted using 1-D inversion schemes if there is near-surface inhomogeneity. The marine exploration scenario investigates the physics of marine frequency-domain controlled source EM (FDCSEM) and time-domain controlled source EM (TDCSEM) methods to explore resistive hydrocarbon reservoirs in marine environments. Unlike the marine MT (MMT) method, these two methods are very sensitive to a thin hydrocarbon reservoir at depth because their sources generate vertical as well as horizontal currents. As for the FDCSEM method, the normalized EM peak response occurs where the airwave starts to dominate the seafloor EM response in the background model. This point is a function of source frequency, seawater depth and seafloor resistivity. The peak magnitude of the normalized EM response depends on whether the high concentration of vertical currents can reach and interact with the reservoir effectively. Noise levels of the EM receivers are important factors for successful FDCSEM and TDCSEM survey design. The major benefit of using magnetic field responses over electric ones is that the noise level of magnetic receiver theoretically allows for greater surface coverage compared to that of the electric receiver. Like the GESTEM method, the TDCSEM method also requires the use of a proper transient EM pulse such that the relatively high frequencies are produced. The impulse response of the TDCSEM method is characterized by two-path diffusion of the EM signal. The initial response is caused by faster signal diffusion through the less conductive seafloor, while the later arrivals result from slower diffusion through the more conductive seawater. Therefore, at larger separations, the effects of the seafloor and seawater are separable. This can be useful in reducing the airwave problem associated with the FDCSEM method in shallow marine environments.

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  • Report No.: WISC-FR-144-HZ98
  • Grant Number: FG02-99ER14995
  • DOI: 10.2172/909161 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 909161
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc887605

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  • June 27, 2007

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 22, 2016, 2:13 a.m.

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  • Nov. 7, 2016, 3:31 p.m.

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Um, David Alumbaugh and Evan. ON THE PHYSICS OF GALVANIC SOURCE ELECTROMAGNETIC GEOPHYSICAL METHODS FOR TERRESTRIAL AND MARINE EXPLORATION, report, June 27, 2007; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc887605/: accessed December 15, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.